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Pope Francis' drug war riffs keep offending Mexico

First he warns of the impending 'Mexicanization' of Argentina. Then he says 'the devil is punishing Mexico.' ¿Qué pasa, Francisco?... Read more»1

Capitol roundup: Powdered alcohol, guns, police secrecy & a cat fight

This week at the state Capitol: The Legislature is on track to finish its business early this year with this week being the final one for most committee meetings. The goal for legislators is to wrap up the session in the next couple of weeks, but the House and Senate still saw new legislation introduced. ... Read more»1

Bill puts destructive Grand Canyon bison in the cross hairs

Arizona lawmakers have a simple solution to the problem of bison that are overgrazing and damaging Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim area - hunting. They're backing bills to allow "skilled volunteers" to hunt bison in the normally hunting-free park and to keep their kill. ... Read more»

Recreational pot might make 2016 Az ballot

With proposals to have Arizona follow the lead of Colorado and Washington going nowhere at the state Legislature, advocates are organizing to put recreational use of marijuana on the 2016 ballot. ... Read more»1

Advocates slam bill to keep officers’ names secret after shootings

Keeping the names of law enforcement officers secret for up to 60 days after the use of deadly force would create a larger divide between citizens and the police force, advocates said Wednesday.... Read more»3

Sunshine Week commentary

World passing U.S. by in strength of FOI laws

Sunshine Week has helped foster government transparency in the United States during the past 10 years, but while we have focused inward at state and federal transparency the world has passed us by.... Read more»

Sunshine Week commentary

Despite official stonewalling, reporters let sun shine on gov't

It’s getting harder and more expensive to use public records to hold government officials accountable. Authorities are undermining the laws that are supposed to guarantee citizens’ right to information, turning the right to know into just plain “no.” And that is why it is vital that we all fight every attempt — from federal foot-dragging to outrageous photocopying bills — to hide the public’s information behind a big, padlocked door. We need to let the sun shine in.... Read more»

Sunshine Week commentary

An inconvenient truth: Open government requires transparency

Withholding information, or even appearing to keep the public at arm’s length, creates a breach of trust between the American people and our institutions of government. Journalists, good government watchdogs, private citizens and even members of Congress often butt up against a byzantine bureaucracy that makes it tough to track down answers.... Read more»

Forest Service seeks full funding for fire season

The Forest Service budget for fighting wildfires has been underfunded in eight of the last 10 years, leading the agency to raid other budgets to pay the firefighting bills. It's past time to end that "fire borrowing" and fully fund wildfire programs, the service's chief testified. ... Read more»

What the Devil won't tell you

Biggs finds supply-side economics embarrassing & dangerous

I'm sorry, did they trip over something? Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs is treating the results of Arizona's supply-side experiment like the Cousin Jesse the kids aren't supposed to talk about. Seems an odd approach, but a quarter-century of cutting taxes and spending has left Arizona trailing high-tax states.... Read more»4

Report gives Arizona a B for gov't spending transparency

Released during Sunshine Week, the annual Following the Money report praises Arizona for providing data about the state's largest economic-development programs through its OpenBooks website. ... Read more»

FactCheck: Ted Cruz distorts NASA’s mission, budget

During his critique of NASA’s spending on earth and atmospheric sciences at a recent committee hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz made some misleading claims regarding the agency’s budgets and the science that it conducts.... Read more»

Buses to shuttle streetcar riders around 4th Ave Street Fair

As hordes of trinket shoppers descend on 4th Avenue this weekend, riders of the Sun Link streetcar will find their route has a slight detour, as buses will carry passengers around the event, Thursday through Sunday.... Read more»

Amid push to clear rape kit backlog, extent of problem unknown in Az

As many as 400,000 “rape kits” nationwide have not been tested, thousands of them in Arizona, a backlog that advocates and government officials say is delaying the identification of potential rapists. In Arizona, the true extent of the backlog is uncertain because police departments here, as in many other states, are not required to track the backlog of rape kits.... Read more»

Cochise sheriff asks Senate to work with local lawmen to secure border

Local law enforcement must be involved in securing “the rural parts of the Southwest border,” which is still dangerously insecure, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told a Senate panel Tuesday.... Read more»1

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